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article imageOp-Ed: CIA says Huawei gets funding from China's state security agencies

By Ken Hanly     Apr 22, 2019 in Technology
The UK newspaper, The Times citing a UK source says that the US Central Intelligence Agency told UK intelligence services Huawei gets funds from the People's Liberation Army, China's National Security Commission and a 3rd intelligence branch.
Other Five Eyes nations were also informed
The Five Eyes intelligence group is described by WIkileaks as follows: "The Five Eyes, often abbreviated as FVEY, is an anglophone intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. These countries are parties to the multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for joint cooperation in signals intelligence.[1][2][3]The origins of the FVEY can be traced back to the post–World War II period, when the Atlantic Charter was issued by the Allies to lay out their goals for a post-war world. During the course of the Cold War, the ECHELON surveillance system was initially developed by the FVEY to monitor the communications of the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, although it is now used to monitor billions of private communications worldwide.[4][5]"
Recent documents of the FVEY show that the group are intentionally spying on each other's citizens and sharing the information with each other. This is done to circumvent restrictive regulations or bans on domestic spying. So those restrictions become null and void and the arrangement in effect allows members to freely spy on their own citizens. Shami Chakrabarti, director of the advocacy group Liberty claims that the arrangement allows member states to subcontract their dirty work. Edward Snowden revealed a considerable amount about the way FVEY works. He ended up having to flee to Russia to avoid prosecution. Snowden described FVEY as a supra-national intelligence organisation that doesn't answer to the laws of its own countries. Indeed part of its function is to circumvent them.
The CIA is said to have “awarded a strong but not iron-cast classification of certainty” to its findings.
The US actions against Huawei
The US has urged other countries and the EU as a whole to ban Huawei from 5G networks. But as a recent article notes they have never provided any concrete evidence. Now the US obviously providing "evidence" from their own intelligence presumably to other intelligence agencies such as those in the UK. The Chinese response seems reasonable in that there has been no concrete significant public evidence produced. The US is introducing evidence claims through intelligence reports which the public has no means of confirming. The US has even threatened to withhold intelligence from those countries that use Huawei 5G equipment. Australia one of the five eyes has agreed with the US banning government use of Huawei equipment. However, so far the UK has not acted to ban Huawei.
The EU does want to increase security around 5G networks, but it hasn’t proposed a ban on Huawei equipment. However, as a recent Digital Journal article reports the UK has identified further risks from Huawei.
Huawei reactions
As well as denying the US government charges, China has filed a suit at the federal level. The US also ordered the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver Canada. She is subject to an extradition process to face charges of sanctions violations laid in the US. She has sued the Canadian government over her arrest as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
Unlike the US, Huawei's Meng Wanzhou shows little fear of US based Apple's products. When arrested she had a MacBook, an iPhone, and an iPad. On the latest revelations Huawei said it “did not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources.”
Huawei has recently offered Germany a "no-spy agreement" and urged the Chinese government to do so also as reported in a recent Digital Journal article. A March Digital journal article discusses Huawei as a security risk and measures that can be used to lessen security risks.
Equipment from countries other than China could be security risks
Other countries than China notable the United States and no doubt many others also produce equipment that are subject to security risks some even worse than spying. Consider the Iran Stuxnet virus case. which not only gathered information but causing centrifuges to tear themselves apart. If Iran had done something similar to the US it would probably have been attacked and the attack seen as an act of war. The the attack was probably carried out by the Equation Group described in part by Wikipedia as follows: "The Equation Group, classified as an advanced persistent threat, is a highly sophisticated threat actor suspected of being tied to the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit of the United States National Security Agency (NSA).[1][2][3] Kaspersky Labs describes them as one of the most sophisticated cyber attack groups in the world and "the most advanced ... we have seen", operating alongside but always from a position of superiority with the creators of Stuxnet and Flame.[4][5] Most of their targets have been in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Syria, and Mali.[5]"
Kaspersky has uncovered hundreds of examples of their malicious software no doubt one of the reasons the US has attacked Kaspersky alongside the fact it has links to Russia. The US bans the government and its agencies from using Kaspersky security software which is highly rated. Not everyone agrees that it was a good idea to ban Kaspersky from the US government and agencies. A Wired article notes: "Kaspersky is an industry leader on endpoint security and cyber threat intelligence. Security researchers often rely on the company's high-quality analysis of cyber threat groups, especially those from Russia. Today, the issue is one company, but plenty of technology firms have ties to intelligence services and governments. If this ban moves ahead, it is easy to foresee its use against Chinese, French, or Israeli firms. If such bans come, these firms’ national governments will be sure to make US tech firms share the pain, with retributive discrimination against US products."
One can see the US acting against Chinese firms as it is with Huawei but I imagine Israel has little to worry about. The US could end up not sharing in cutting edge advances of technology as Huawei is at the forefront of developing 5G technology. The US may find itself falling behind in part because of its own security policies.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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